Finding The Right Information For Your North Vancouver Renovation & Escaping The Misinformation Vortex

April 4, 2023

The hunt is on!

You know what you want to do with your home, in fact you’ve known for a long time how you want to change your space to suit you and your family better. But what you need now is information. How do I know what a good contractor looks like? Do I need a permit? How much is this going to cost?

The Vortex Of Reno Misinformation

There’s a lot of competition for you eyes when you’re looking for renovation information, but here’s the secret: Most of it is wrong. So so wrong.

The internet is THE best place to find top notch information about anything, but it’s also a deep dark hole of bad information. Reno info does not escape this. I occasionally will put on my ‘client hat’ and act like I’m a homeowner looking for info on my renovation…. and the results blow my mind.

I read things like: “A kitchen renovation should take about a month and cost you 15K. and “You can save money by picking up the materials yourself” plus my personal favourite: “You don’t need a permit!”.

I recall a local business that claimed you don’t need a permit for you bathroom reno. Upsettingly, they went out of business last year.

Homeowners are told to find information themselves online before reaching out to a builder. And I completely agree, as long as that information comes from the right place.

Better Options

The place I always recommend client’s start is with the Home Builder’s Association of Vancouver (HAVAN). They represent builders and homeowners and their information is real, tested and tweaked based on feedback from renovators, builders, homeowners and governing/regulatory bodies alike.

You can check out their renovation resources here: https://havan.ca/home-renovation-resources/

Other realistic resources are found on your local government website under the ‘building and development’ tabs. Check out the City of North Van, District of North Van and District of West Van’s building resource pages here:

CNV: https://www.cnv.org/business-development/building

DNV: https://www.dnv.org/property-and-development/building-and-renovating-district

DWV: https://westvancouver.ca/business-development/building-development/building-permits-inspections

If you’re unsure of what is allowed on your property, you can always call your local jurisdiction and ask the building department any questions.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can look up all of the building bylaws of your municipality here.

Good luck and stay informed.